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Journal of Business Research 64 (2011) 266272

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Journal of Business Research

Change management practices: Impact on perceived change results


Andrs B. Raineri
Ponticia Universidad Catlica de Chile, Escuela de Administracin, Vicua Mackenna 4860, Casilla 76, Correo 17, Santiago, Chile

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 1 March 2009
Received in revised form 1 September 2009
Accepted 1 November 2009
Available online 19 January 2010
Keywords:
Organizational change
Change management practices

a b s t r a c t
Management literature frequently proposes the use of a set of managerial practices in order to facilitate the
management of organizational change processes. This paper analyses differences in perception in the use of
such practices, between change strategists and change receptors, and the impact these practices have on the
outcomes of organizational change programs and on organizational results, in a sample of 90 organizations
in Chile. Results show that, for the same change processes, change strategists report a higher use of change
management practices than change receptors. Results also show that, during organizational change processes,
rms use more frequently practices related to the change preparation stage in comparison to practices related
to the change implementation stage. Finally, results show that, after controlling for organizational size, change
program intensity, and service versus manufacturing industries, the use of change management practices
has a signicant impact on the accomplishment of the change program objectives and deadlines, but results do
not show an impact on perceived organizational outcomes (changes in sales, nancial results of the rm,
operational productivity, and employee performance).
2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
Today's organizations experience frequent, diverse and intense
change through practices such as processes redesign, restructuring,
mergers, acquisitions and total quality programs. Organizations put
these programs into practice in an attempt to anticipate or adapt to
external forces such as new technologies, markets or legislations,
or internal forces such as changes in staff, or tuning of policies and
procedures. Academic and professional literature propose a set of
managerial practices that better support the enactment of organizational change processes (Armenakis and Bedeian, 1999; Buchanan
et al., 2005; Casio, 2002; Jones et al., 2004; Kanter, 2001; Kotter, 1996;
Meyer and Stensaker, 2006; Nadler, 1998; Whelan-Berry et al., 2003,
among others). Nevertheless signicant gaps in the understanding of
both how these practices work, and in their effectiveness exist (Doyle
et al., 2000; Lewis et al., 2006). This study is an empirical research on
change management practices (CMPs) which expands current
literature in three ways. First an analysis is made of the differences
in the perceptions of two groups of employees about the use of CMPs
during organizational change processes: Those in charge of planning
the change program (change strategists) and those employees who
receive the impact of the change program (change receptors). Second,
previous research results (Raineri, 1998), that show that rms use
more frequently CMPs related to the change preparation stage rather
than CMPs more closely related to the implementation stage of
change processes, are tested. Third and nally, the paper assesses the

E-mail address: araineri@faceapuc.cl.


0148-2963/$ see front matter 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2009.11.011

impact these change management practices have on the outcomes


of organizational change programs and on perceptual measures of
organizational performance. To address these issues the present
article rst describes previous literature on CMPs and presents
research hypotheses. Second, the paper describes the methodology
used to test the hypotheses. The third section presents the results.
Finally, in the fourth section, the paper discusses the implications and
limitations of these ndings.
2. Managing change in organizations
Change management practices include a variety of organizational
interventions that, when executed properly and in consistency with
internal and external organizational events, facilitate the enactment
of organizational change processes. Acording to Kanter (2001) those
who direct or participate in the change processes often forget these
practices, which sometimes might seem obvious principles based on
common sense, generating a more inefcient and sometimes chaotic
process than necessary. Different authors propose lists of CMPs that
have strong similarities, usually presented as suggestions of how to
manage organizational change processes more effectively. Literature
frequently presents a temporal point of view to group CMPs, with
concepts such as change preparation and change implementation
being habitual. Change preparation CMPs usually include suggestions
such as the diagnosis and analysis of the organizational system and its
environment, the identication of change needs, and the development
of a new organizational vision (Buchanan et al., 2005; Tushman and
O'Reilly, 1997; Whelan-Berry et al., 2003). Some authors also suggest
to execute during the change preparation stage, the development of a

A.B. Raineri / Journal of Business Research 64 (2011) 266272

detailed plan of how change will be implemented, including ambitious


but realistic objectives, stages to be achieved, and the timing necessary
to coordinate the change project (Nguyen Huy, 2001; Whelan-Berry
et al., 2003). Also frequently suggested is the understanding and
consideration of the needs and interests of relevant individuals and
groups, in order to anticipate their intentions and reactions, persuade
them to support the change process, and diminish potential resistances
to the process (i.e. Jones et al., 2004; Holt et al., 2007). Other authors
suggest the creation of a sense of urgency among employees, in order to
generate a state of motivation and expectations that facilitate the
process, sometimes by generating reactions of dissatisfaction with the
status quo (Beer and Walton, 1990) or by spreading a feeling of change
necessity among stakeholders (Tichy and Devanna, 1986).
Literature also proposes another set of CMPs, more closely related to
the implementation of change. Several authors argue that facilitating
communication during the change process, allows different stake
holders to understand what, when and why the organization is changing,
facilitating the acceptance and adaptation of new circumstances (Dutton
et al., 2001; Lewis et al., 2006). Different authors emphasize the
importance of leadership, during the change implementation stage.
(Buchanan et al., 2005; Kotter, 1996). Employees need to perceive that
their leaders are actively involved and committed to the change process.
Other CMPs related to the implementation stages refer to formal and/or
informal training and coaching in order to teach employees the
knowledge and skills necessary to carry out the new tasks (Nadler,
1998). Finally, other authors suggest the alignment of compensation and
incentive systems with the new objectives dened in the change plan in
order to consolidate the change implementation process (Kanter, 2001;
Kotter, 1996). The practices mentioned above, which don't pretend to be
an exhaustive list, capture some of the most frequent advice offered at
the time of managing a change program within an organization. As
literature suggests, the use of these practices is a key element to the
success of change programs, but the opportunity and form in which
executives use these practices are dependent on their adaptation to the
characteristic of the organization and change program under consideration (Meyer and Stensaker, 2006; Nguyen Huy, 2001).
Most previous change management literature has been conceptual
or case oriented in nature. Academic literature tends to be conceptual
oriented, while practitioner literature tends to be case oriented.
According to Bartunek (2008) linking the missing gap between theory
and practice in change management literature requires more empirical
research. Despite the abundance of literature with advice on change
management for practitioners, a lack of research on how these practices
work and on their effectiveness subsists (Doyle et al., 2000; Buchanan
et al., 2005). This study is an empirical research on CMPs, using a sample
of Chilean organizations that had recently undergone an organizational
change process, which expands current literature in three ways. First,
some authors have suggested that different stakeholders within an
organization experience differently the same organizational change
processes. Jick (1992) identies at least two critical groups of employees
to consider in an organizational change process: those in charge of
planning the change program (change strategists) and those employees
who receive the impact of the change program (change receptors).
Change strategists are responsible for conducting the organizational
change program while the interventions implemented by them impact
on change receptors. By denition, change strategists are responsible for
the use of CMPs. Therefore, due to a self-serving bias, they could be more
inclined to judge that these practices were used especially if they are
made accountable for the use of CMPs. This predisposition could be
true if their superiors exercise control or if the use of these practices
is socially desirable (Ganster et al., 1983). A rst hypothesis will test
for differences in the perceptions of these two groups of employees
about the use of CMPs during organizational change processes.
Hypothesis 1. Change strategists report a higher rate of use of CMPs
when compared to change receptors.

267

A second contribution of this paper is an attempt to conrm previous


results which show that rms use more frequently CMPs related to
the change preparation stage in comparison to CMPs related to the
implementation stage of change processes (Raineri, 2002). Several
arguments support this proposition. First, the potential of failure of
the early stages of the change program (i.e. developing a new vision,
diagnosing the organization, and preparing a change plan) might
preclude the execution of the program in later stages, that require
implementation practices such as communicating the change plan or
measuring change results (Holt et al., 2007). Second, since change
strategists are primarily responsible for planning change programs, and
they also occupy the executive positions which control most resources
in a rm, they could have a bias towards allocating a disproportionate
amount of the rms resources (human and capital) to the rst stages of
the change process, therefore leaving change implementers and change
receptors with less resources to execute the latter stages of the change
program. A third argument to support this proposition is that change
preparation practices, such as performing an organizational diagnosis or
developing a change plan program, emphasize the use of analytical
skills, for which managers usually receive considerable training (Porter,
1997; Shipper, 1999). On the contrary, implementation practices, such
as communicating the change plan, or understanding and managing a
variety of social and interest groups, require an emphasis on the use of
interpersonal and political skills. Several authors argue that these latter
set of skills tend to be distributed irregularly among managers (Higgins
et al., 2002; Groves, 2005). Specically Raineri (1998) reported, in a
sample of Chilean managers, a higher presence of analytical skills when
compared to their emotional and interpersonal skills. The implications
of such results would help understand, and better advice, change
strategists, on the need to persevere in the latter stages of the change
implementation process.
Hypothesis 2. Firms show a higher rate of use of change preparation
practices in comparison to the use of change implementation practices.
Finally, the third contribution of this paper is to test the impact
that the use of CMPs has in the outcomes of the organizational change
process and its consequences in organizational result measures. As
stated earlier, most literature argues that the use of these practices has
a positive effect on the speed and quality of the change process and on
organizational results. Nevertheless very little empirical evidence
exists to support this argument. This paper tests the relationship
between perceptions about the use of CMPs and the accomplishment
of the change program objectives (and of their impact on organizational results). In order to ameliorate the impact of potential biases
that might occur when the same subjects report both dependent and
independent measures, such as the perceptpercept ination bias
(Crampton and Wagner, 1994) and the common method variance
(Podsakoff et al., 2003), the researcher measured the independent
variable, degree of use of CMPs, using change receptors' perceptions.
The author also measured the dependent variables, change process
results and their impact on organizational results, using change
strategists' perceptions.
Hypothesis 3. Change receptors' perceptions about the use of CMPs
relates positively to change strategists' perceptions about the
accomplishment of the change program objectives and deadlines
and to change strategists' perceptions of the impact of the change
process in organizational result variables, including perceptions of
changes in sales, nancial results of the rm, operational productivity,
and employee performance.
3. Sample
The sample consisted of a total of 90 rms operating in Chile. In
relatively similar proportions, the companies in the sample belong
to a wide variety of industries, including agriculture, forestry,

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A.B. Raineri / Journal of Business Research 64 (2011) 266272

manufacturing, construction, information and telecommunications,


educational services, mining, professional services, nance and
insurance and retail. The average size company varied widely
between 24 and 8500 employees, with an average of 1304 employees.
All organizations had lived through a change program within the last
2 years. A total of 570 change receptors and 208 change strategists
answered a survey, with an average of 6.06 change receptors and
2.24 change strategist responses per company. The type of subjects
surveyed in the organizations as change strategists were mainly
executives that served in the company as general managers or
functional area top managers and who had participated in a strategist
role in the change program. In order to classify as change receptors,
the researcher required subjects to be employees without supervision
duties and to describe themselves as not having participated in the
preparation stages of the change program. The companies in the
sample had undergone a wide variety of change processes. The most
frequent types of change programs reported as the primary change
process were: restructuring programs (26.0%), mergers (20.8%),
acquisitions (8.4%), strategy changes (13.0%), reengineering (14.9%),
product innovations (7.8%), total quality programs (5.8%), growth
through opening of new units or subsidiaries (7.1%), CEO change
(9.1%) and introduction of a new technology (16.2%).
4. Measures development
A set of surveys measured the use of CMPs, change program
outcomes, and change program impact in organizational results.
The use of perceptual data to measure behavioral practices (Huselid,
1995; Delantey and Huselid, 1996), organizational change processes
(Holt et al., 2007) and organizational results (Ketokivi and Schroeder,
2004), has become a frequent measurement method in literature.
Weick and Roberts (1993) argue that subjective perceptions about
organizational events are crucial, since people behave in accordance
with their perceptions, not in accordance with more objective data.
4.1. Dependent variables
The researcher created several perceptual measures of organizational change results and organizational performance. Change strategists judged the degree of attainment of the change program objectives
and deadlines with two questions, and a corresponding Likert scale
ranging from 1 (not at all) to 5 (completely). Another four questions
requested for a numerical assessment (in percentages) of the impact
that respondents perceived that the change program had in four
organizational outcomes (sales, prots, operational productivity and
employee performance).
4.2. Control variables
Nadler (1998) suggests that the larger an organization the more
demanding it is to manage its change processes. A rst control
variable is the company size effects, represented by a dummy variable
registering the natural logarithm of the number of employees in the
organization (Huselid, 1995). A second control variable is the industry
sector, where another dummy variable represented service sector
companies with a value of 1 and the manufacturing sector with a
value of 0. A third control variable is the intensity of the change
program. A measure developed by Romanelli and Tushman (1994)
assessed organizational change intensity. These authors propose that
change programs vary in a continuum between incremental adjustments to current organizational architecture versus radical changes
of all or most organizational activities and structures. Under these
two extreme forms of organizational change CMPs might require a
different emphasis in their use. For example, a radical transformation
might require a high degree of involvement of the organizational
leaders while in an incremental change leaders might just delegate

the decision and implementation to middle managers (Nadler, 1998).


In a similar manner, the need for a complete organizational diagnosis,
or the persistence required to communicate new forms of work
might be different for a radical transformation versus an incremental
change. Following Romanelli and Tushman (1994) change strategists
identied, using forced choice alternatives of yes or no, if major
changes had occurred in the company as part of the change process
in ve domains of organizational activities: organizational culture,
strategy, structure, power distributions, and control systems. A
continuous variable added the number of domains of organizational
activities affected by the change process, therefore having a range of
responses that varied from 1 to 5 domains. This variable represents
the degree of how radical or intense is a change process.
4.3. Independent variables
The development of a survey to assess respondents' perceptions
about the use of CMPs in their companies emphasized item development in four areas of change management interventions: organizational diagnosis and alignment, change program planning and
communication, leadership and incentive alignment. Both practitioner
oriented literature and academic literature suggest these four areas
(Armenakis and Bedeian, 1999; Buchanan et al., 2005; Casio, 2002;
Kanter, 2001; Jones et al., 2004; Kotter, 1996; Meyer and Stensaker,
2006; Nadler, 1998 and Whelan-Berry et al., 2003). Companies execute
organizational diagnosis and alignment of CMPs during the early stage
of change preparation. The other three areas are representatives of
CMPs closely related to the stage of change implementation. To
establish the content validity for the items in the CMP survey several
actions were taken. First, as mentioned, item generation followed the
literature review. Second, a panel of four experts and four practitioners
classied the items into the four CMP dimensions described earlier,
and judged the clarity of the items and the degree in which the items
were representative of their dimensions (McGartland Rubio et al.,
2003). Two versions of the survey were developed. One version for the
change strategists and another for the change receptors. Subjects
responded to items measuring the use of CMPs by using a Likert scale
ranging from 1 (absolutely disagree that the practice was used) to 5
(completely agree that the practice was used). A pilot study tested the
respondent's comprehension of all items in the three surveys. The
researcher made item deletions and corrections when necessary.
Table 1 presents the list of CMPs appearing in the nal survey.
5. Results
In order to assess the content validity for the items corresponding
to the four areas of CMPs measured a panel of four experts and four
practitioners identied the CMP area to which each item belonged.
The author included items for which at least an 80% agreement of
membership among the judges existed (McGartland Rubio et al.,
2003). Judges in the panel rated each item on a scale from one (very
little) to four (very much) for the items' dimension representativeness and clarity. The percentage of judges rating the items with a
three or four score for clarity ranged from 75% to 100% with an overall
average rating of 94%. Judges' rating of items for representativeness
ranged from 75% to 100% with an overall average rating of 95%. These
results reect a high degree of clarity and dimension representativeness for all items included in the nal survey (McGartland Rubio et al.,
2003).
Because no previous literature has empirically analyzed the factor
structure of change management practices, and because of the
conceptual and empirical overlap among these practices, the
researcher conducted a factor analysis to uncover their underlying
factor structure in order to proceed with hypotheses testing. The
author performed a factor analysis in both the change strategists and
change receptors' independent variable data sets. The factor analyses

A.B. Raineri / Journal of Business Research 64 (2011) 266272


Table 1
Change management practices survey items.
Index 1: Diagnosis and alignment
The company analyzed its strengths and weaknesses to face the change program.
Existing opportunities and threats were considered when developing the change
program.
Work processes were analyzed in order to identify activities and areas that could be
impacted by the change program.
Resistance to change was appropriately diagnosed.
Index 2: Communication
The company communicated with clarity individual and work unit objectives and
challenges.
Change program objectives have been clearly stated throughout the company.
The action plans to pursue the change program were well known throughout
the company.
The company makes an effort to understand how employees understood its
messages.
The company made frequent communication efforts to ensure understanding and
support of the change program.
Index 3: Leadership
The change program was lead by individuals who had high credibility within
the company.
Executives demonstrated publicly their commitment with the change process.
Strong charismatic leaders were used to drive the change process.
Index 4: Compensation and incentives
The company adapted compensation systems in order to promote new
responsibilities and job demands.
The company developed incentive systems in order to reward newly expected
behaviors.
The company identied and rewarded the achievement of partial goals in the
proper direction.
The company rewarded employees when they attained change program goals.

results showed that the items better load on a set of four factors for
the change strategists' data set similar to the four original topics for
which items were developed. The factor analysis of the change
receptors' data set loaded on a set of factors very similar to the four
factors in the strategists' data set and very similar to the four original
areas of item development. The main difference in the factor structure
of the change receptors' data set, is that in the latter group, change
receptors perceived items related to communication and items
related to leadership as being part of the same factor. A possible
explanation for this difference in both factor structures is that the
change receptors' main sources of information are their leaders
and managers, therefore their perceptions of communication and
leadership during the change process might be highly interrelated.
Given the similarity in the factor structure of both data sets with
the intended areas of item development, and the need to compare
perceptions of CMPs between both groups, the author conducted
further statistical analysis for both data sets using the original four
dimensions of CMPs that were dened when items were constructed:
diagnosis and alignment of the organization, communication within
the change process, presence of leadership in the change program,
and alignment of compensation and incentives with the new objectives stated in the change program. The items' factor loadings for the

269

Table 3
Paired t-tests between indexes, for independent variable indexes of CMPs within each
data set.
Change strategists
Index 2 Index 3
Index 1: Diagnosis 3.31***
and alignment
Index 2:
Communication
Index 3:
Leadership
Index 4:
Compensation &
incentives

Change receptors
Index 4 Index 2 Index 3

1.10 n/s 7.94***


4.38***

3.91***

6.35***

Index 4

1.93 n/s 8.85***


6.07***

9.52***

8.20***
9.94***

***p b 0,001.

change strategists' factors ranged from 0.83 to 0.87 and for the change
receptors' factors ranged from 0.87 to 0.93. The researcher deleted
three items from any further analysis in both data sets because either
they did not comply with the minimum established standard of an 80%
agreement among the judges rating their membership into one of the
four intended categories of CMPs, and/or because they showed high
factor loadings with more than one factor. The author grouped the
resulting items into indexes averaging the items in each of the four
nal dimensions. Table 2 shows the mean, standard deviation and
Cronbach's alpha for both data sets. Table 2 also shows the correlations
for the four indexes between the strategists and receptors' data sets,
and paired sample t-tests results for the comparisons of the means
of the four indexes between the two data sets. The Cronbach's alpha
scores showed a strong internal consistency of the indexes in both data
sets. The correlations of CMP indexes between both data sets show that
change strategists and receptors have a moderate agreement about the
use of CMPs in their organizational change processes. The comparisons
in Table 2 show that change strategists report a higher rate of use of
CMPs in all four indexes when compared to change receptors. These
results conrm Hypothesis 1.
The t-tests in Table 3 compare the means between index averages
of all four factors within each data set. These comparisons support
Hypothesis 2: in both data sets rms showed a higher rate of use
of change preparation practices when compared to use of change
implementation practices. The t-test comparisons show that the
diagnosis and alignment and leadership indexes show the highest
scores, a signicantly lower score in the communication index and the
lowest score in the compensation and incentive indexes.
Table 4 presents the basic statistics about the outcomes of the
change program and organizational results attributable to the change
program as perceived by the change strategists. Table 4 shows that the
dependent variable scores present a bias towards successful organizational change programs. These results would be inconsistent with the
claim of some authors (Beer and Nohria, 2000; Doyle et al., 2000) who
have estimated that up to 70% of organizational change programs fail.
Other authors argue that the use of a convenience sample might lead to
an overrepresentation of the successes and an underrepresentation of the
failures of organizational behavior events (Becker and Gerhart, 1996).

Table 2
Means, standard deviations and Chronbach's alpha for all four CMPs indexes for change strategists and change receptors data sets. (This table also shows the correlations and paired
t-tests for comparison of means between data sets for the four indexes.)
Change strategists

Index
Index
Index
Index

1:
2:
3:
4:

Diagnosis & Alignment


Communication
Leadership
Compensation and incentives

***p b 0,001.

Change receptors

Mean

Std. Dev.

Chronbach''s alpha

Mean

Std. Dev.

Chronbach's alpha

3.84
3.61
3.93
3.01

0.75
0.78
0.86
0.92

0.83
0.86
0.85
0.87

3.41
3.21
3.54
2.57

0.74
0.66
0.66
0.84

0.87
0.90
0.83
0.93

Paired t-tests (t score)

0.39***
0.50***
0.51***
0.45***

4.80***
5.19 ***
4.67 ***
4.56 ***

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A.B. Raineri / Journal of Business Research 64 (2011) 266272

Table 4
Dependent variables maximum scores, minimum scores, means and standard deviation.
Minimum

Maximum

Mean

Degree of attainment of change program objectives and deadlines [Likert scale ranging from 1 (not at all) to 5 (completely)]
Degree in which the objectives pursued by the change program were attained
2.0
5.0
Degree in which the deadlines pursued by the change program were attained
1.0
5.0
Percentage in which the following organizational outcomes increased/decreased due to the change program
The company's sales increased/decreased
30%
The company's prots increased/decreased
17.5%
The company's operational performance increased/decreased
20%
The company's employees performance increased/decreased
30%

The main focus of this paper is on the analysis of the coefcients


that describe the association between the CMPs and the perceptual
measures of organizational performance. The author conducted a
multiple regression analysis on the ve perceptual measures of
organizational performance previously discussed using as independent variables the indexes grouping the items that measured the
change receptors' perceptions of the use of CMPs. Even though
indexes receive conrmation from the original data, correlations
between indexes still persist, ranging between 0.31 and 0.64 for
the strategists' data set and between 0.31 and 0.73 for the receptors'
data set. Because of the signicant correlation between most of the
independent variable indexes the author conducted a collinearity
analysis. For the variables involved in the following regression
analyses, the Variance Ination Factors (VIF) ranged between 1.00
and 2.07 for the change strategists' data and between 1.00 and 3.57 for
the change receptors' data. These values are well below the suggested
cut-off of 10.0 (Chatterjee and Price, 1991: 191). Thus, collinearity
may attenuate the estimates for these variables, but does not appear
to be harmful.
Table 5 shows the multiple regression analysis results for the change
receptors' data set. The model includes the four predictors (indexes 1, 2,
3 and 4) and the three control variables entered simultaneously. In
the few cases that the three control variables attained signicance
Beta scores were in the correct direction. The CMPs indexes obtained
from the change receptors' perceptions predict the accomplishment of
change program objectives and deadlines. In both cases the diagnosis
and alignment and the compensation and incentive indexes show
signicant Beta scores, all in the correct direction. No signicant
Beta scores for any of the indexes appear when predicting sales, nancial
results, operational productivity or employee performance. These
results give only a partial support to Hypothesis 3. A positive relation
between change receptors' perceptions of the use of CMPs and
perceptions of accomplishment of change program objectives and

210%
100%
100%
100%

3.83
3.57

19.4%
14.4%
20.7%
19.2%

Standard deviation
0.73
0.89

0.379
0.238
0.243
0.243

deadlines exists, but not to organizational result variables. Table 5


shows that not all Beta scores obtained in the regression analyses were
signicant. The author expected these results due to the high
collinearity between indexes. In additional analyses not presented
here, following all signicant regression models in Table 5, the author
constructed other regression models using as a predictor one CMP index
at a time. In those analyses most CMP indexes achieved signicance,
even though the signicance of some indexes is lost when entering
all indexes simultaneously in the regression equations, as shown in
Table 5. Thus collinearity among indexes might be hindering the
signicance of some of the Beta weights in Table 5. In additional analyses
not presented here, the researcher used identical CMP indexes
constructed from change strategists' perceptions as predictors of change
process results and organizational results. These additional analyses
conrmed the results presented in Table 5 but the author did not
present them because they had the potential to be biased by the
perceptpercept ination bias and/or from common method variance.
Nevertheless, when in these additional analyses the author controlled
for common method variance using the Lindell and Whitney (2001)
technique, regression results were still signicant.
6. Discussion and conclusions
Literature reports a signicant amount of organizational change
processes that fail and proposes a set of change management practices
in order to enhance the success of such programs (Kotter, 1996).
Nevertheless signicant gaps in the understanding of how these
practices work and in their effectiveness still persist. This paper
expands the empirical research on CMPs in three ways. First, the
paper conrms the differences in the perceptions of the use of CMPs
during organizational change processes between change strategists
and change receptors. The rst group perceives a larger use of CMPs
at their companies suggesting that the intent of executing these

Table 5
Regression coefcients, F for R2, Beta coefcients and their standard error for the regression analyses using the indexes of CMPs use as predictors of perceptions of change in
organizational result variables and accomplishment of change program objectives and deadlines. Standard errors for beta coefcients in parenthesis. (*p b 0,05; **p b 0,01; n/s: not
signicant).

Constant
Ln of number of employees
Industry dummy
Change Magnitude dummy
Index 1: Diagnosis & Alignment
Index 2: Communication
Index 3: Leadership
Index 4: Compensation & incentives
R2
Adjusted R2
F for R2

Sales

Prots

Operational performance

Employee performance

Program objectives
accomplished

Program deadlines
accomplished

Beta

Beta

Beta

Beta

Beta

Beta

0.14 n/s (0.26)


0.11 n/s (0.03)
0.17* (0.08)
0.11** (0.04)
0.04 n/s (0.08)
0.09 n/s (0.12)
0.03 n/s (0.09)
0.02 n/s (0.06)
0.18
0.11
2.39*

0.12 n/s (0.16)


0.03 n/s (0.02)
0.10 n/s (0.05)
0.05* (0.03)
0.01 n/s (0.06)
0.07 n/s (0.07)
0,01 n/s (0.07)
0.03 n/s (0.04)
0.17
0.09
2.13 n/s

0.01 n/s (0.17)


0.04* (0.02)
0.07 n/s (0.05)
0.01 n/s (0.03)
0.04 n/s (0.06)
0.07 n/s (0.08)
0.01 n/s (0.06)
0.02 n/s (0.04)
0.18
0.10
2.27*

0.05 n/s (0.17)


0.03 n/s (0.2)
0.01 n/s (0.06)
0.02 n/s (0.03)
0.06 n/s (0.06)
0.04 n/s (0.08)
0.02 n/s (0.6)
0.01 n/s (0.04)
0.08
0.03
0.97 n/s

3.08** (0.45)
0.07 n/s (0.05)
0.01 n/s (0.15)
0.01 n/s (0.07)
0.45** (0.15)
0.06 n/s (0.21)
0.18 n/s (0.15)
0.19* (0.09)
0.20
0.13
2.79*

2.33** (0.58)
0.06 n/s (0.06)
0.03 n/s (0.18)
0.01 n/s (0.08)
0.43* (0.19)
0.08 n/s (0.25)
0.10 n/s (0.19)
0.33* (0.13)
0.20
0.13
2,87**

A.B. Raineri / Journal of Business Research 64 (2011) 266272

practices not always reaches those to whom they target. One possible
explanation for this difference in perceptions is the existence of a selfserving bias: change strategists are accountable in their organizations
for using CMPs, therefore they will tend to report a higher use of them,
especially if their superiors exercise control, or if social desirability
exists for the use of these practices (Ganster et al., 1983). Second, this
paper conrms previous research results that rms use more frequently CMPs relating to the change preparation stage in comparison
to CMPs used in later stages of change implementation. Several
arguments could help explain this nding. First, failure rates at the
rst stages of the change process (i.e. developing a new vision)
might make harder or impossible to execute later stage practices
(i.e. communication of change plan). Second, since change strategists
are primarily responsible for preparing the change program, and they
also control most resources in a rm, they could have a bias towards
allocating a disproportionate amount of the rms' resources (i.e.
human and capital) to the rst stages of the change process, and be
less sensitive to the resources needed for later stages, which other
employee groups, such as change receptors, might execute. Finally,
change preparation practices (i.e. organizational diagnosis), emphasize the use of analytical skills, for which managers are usually highly
trained, while implementation practices, such as communicating the
change plan or understanding and managing a variety of social and
interest groups, require an emphasis on the use of interpersonal and
political skills. Managers show a more irregular distribution of these
latter skills (Higgins et al., 2002; Groves, 2005).
Finally, one of the most important contributions of this paper, is the
evidence that suggests that the use of these CMPs has an impact on the
outcomes of organizational change programs but not on perceptual
measures of organizational performance. After controlling for organizational size, change program intensity and industry sector, the use
of CMPs has a positive relation with the accomplishment of change
program objectives and deadlines, and no impact on perceived
organizational outcomes (changes in sales, nancial results of the
rm, operational productivity, and employee performance). One
possible explanation for the lack of relation between CMP use and
perceived organizational results, is that CMPs are intentionally executed
to impact the change program and not necessarily the organizational
results. If the change program is the adequate response to organizational
needs, and its implementation is successful, the program should
impact organizational results. But if a successfully implemented change
program is not the adequate response to organizational needs, the
program might not produce better organizational results. In the same
manner, the impact of a change program on organizational results might
occur only in the long run (i.e. development of new products).
Multiple limitations to this study exist. Some limitations have
relation with the sample, others with the instrument of data collection
and others with the scope of the results. Limitations due to the sample
come from the convenience origin of the surveyed companies. In spite
of the diversity of industries included, the sample derives from the
availability of contact with the companies. In this sense the sample
prevents generalizing these ndings to other rms. Stronger restrictions come from the fact that all rms in the sample were operating in
Chile thus allowing for the existence of non controlled local cultural
biases.
Another limitation comes from the selection of CMPs included in
the survey. As stated earlier literature discusses a wide variety of
CMPs and there is no consensus upon a denitive set of practices.
Even though this paper included a wide variety of CMPs suggested in
literature, plenty of space exists to improve in the renement and
classication of CMPs. The study includes deleting item number 5
(appropriate use of training) because of statistical reasons (high
correlation with all indexes). But this item is conceptually different
from all indexes resulting from the factor analyses here executed.
Future research should consider and study the relevance of training as
a practice that helps in the success of change programs.

271

The use of perceptual measures of rm performance in this


research also limits the strength of current ndings. The use of more
objective performance measures is certainly desirable. Nevertheless
perceptual measures should not be discarded. Several researchers
have shown that perceptual data of organizational performance has a
positive moderate to strong correlation with objective measures of
rm performance (Dollinger and Golden, 1992; Powell, 1992; Huselid,
1995). Equally important is the fact that the use of perceptual
measures of rm performance allows the estimation of measures of
performance which are not publicly available. Finally, strong limitations are associated with the use of cross-sectional data when
attempts to establish causality relations among its variables. This
research does not preclude that an inverse relation between CMPs and
rm performance might occur. That is, that rms whose performance
is systematically superior, might be the ones that tend to invest more
in the use of CMPs. Appropriate measures that allow the elimination
of concerns for a simultaneity bias remains a challenge for future
research, as well as the use of longitudinal research designs in order to
clarify temporal order and causality among the variables studied.
Acknowledgment
The author thanks the reviewers of this paper whose contributions
strongly enhance its quality.
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